Friday, May 30, 2014

To The Birthday Boy

My dear "little man",

Oh sure, I know you're not so little anymore.  And you're probably mortified that I would referred to you that way in a public place.  It's been a couple of years that I have had to look up at your face now.  But in my heart you'll always be my "little man" - no matter what size or age you are.

This mama's heart finds it so difficult to believe that you are 16 years old today.  The years have flown by so quickly. There are times I ache for the days when you were that silly, sweet, blond little boy with the cheeks who used to crawl up to sit in my lap. I wish I had taken the time to hold you just a few minutes longer while you were still small enough for that.

But as much as I miss those days, I wouldn't trade these days for anything.  I know we often seem to butt heads and argue about things that will seem so trivial in days (hours?) to come.  I remind myself that this is not unusual.  You're spreading your wings and trying to take those steps towards independence and manhood.  And I am so very proud of the young man you are becoming.  Even if I do still try to hold on - maybe a little too tightly.

You are still silly.  Stay that way.  And you are still sweet.  Don't ever lose that inner kindness.  Be strong.  Be courageous. Be unique.  Believe in yourself. God has created you for something special and I know that He will have you do great things for Him.

And always know - just like you will always be my "little man", I will always be your mommy.  I will always be here if and when you need me.  And I will always love you.

Happy Birthday. 



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Thursday, May 29, 2014

A BIG God

 While hiking with the Man of the House last week I was swept away by the beautiful mountain views - one after another.  Each more breathtaking than the last.

 Seeing this beauty all around, reminds me of what a BIG and AWESOME God we serve!

A God Who can create this is capable of anything and everything! Without limits!

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A Spirit of Gratitude: May 29

I Am Thankful For:

Helping out in little ways
The kids doing what I ask without arguing
The fireflies are back
Picture texts of my nephew
New towels
The grand son "humming"
Planning the monthly date
Lazy takeout dinners
Three day weekends
Relaxing afternoon with friends
The smell of grilling
Ducks running across parking lot
The grandbaby digging in the dirt
Beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains

Pretty little purple flowers
Sharing a mountain top picnic with the Man of the House
Smoked ribs
Starting a new Bible study
Sleeping in on a Monday
Lazy Days
Street Lights in the fog
Violin/Orchestra concert



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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Under Attack

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" ~ John 10:10
Credit: publicdomainpictures.net

The enemy attacks me over and over and over again in the same sensitive area - my confidence.

I hear the whispers that I am not good enough, pretty enough, smart enough... that I am just... not enough.  That others are judging me and finding me lacking. Because I am lacking in some vital way.

It's painful.  It's terrifying.  It fills me with fear.  It can paralyze me and keep me from stepping out and chasing my dreams.

"But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one" ` 2 Thessalonians 3:3

I have to remind myself daily to shut out the lies.  To replace them with God's truth.  That I am loved.  I am cherished.  I am enough through the only judge that matters.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Date A Month: Take A Hike!

My Valentine's Day gift for the Man of the House this year was a A Year of Date Nights.  One date a month for the next twelve months.  This is our date of the month...

The May theme for our Date A Month was: Take A Hike!

And yes, you guessed it - the Man of the House and I spend a day hiking nearby in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  One Sunday, we packed up the backpacks with plenty of water, fruit, sandwiches, the cameras, and a blanket and headed off down the Blue Ridge parkway.


First stop: Frying Pan Mountain, near Mt Pisgah.  Frying Pan is topped with an observation tower built by the Forest Service in 1941.  That was our goal.  You can't get into the top of the lookout tower, but you can climb the stairs and check out the amazing views from 6 stories up.

Now, if you know me - you know I am terrified of heights, so this was sure to be a challenge for me.  And  it was.  The hike up the service road to the tower was a bit steeper than I had anticipated.  But I stuck with it all the way to the top. (there may have been a stop or two to suck on my inhaler)  At the tower, I was excited to give this a go.


Until I got about halfway up the first flight.  YIKES!!  My legs were shaking worse than the stairs by the time I hit the first landing.  I forced myself to crawl - yes, literally crawl on hands and knees - up another flight of stairs to the second landing where I sat and snapped a few photos before crawling back down the way I came.  (I'm not proud of it, but believe me - it's impressive I managed to make it that far without passing out)  The man of the house made it up as far as you are able to go.  He's much MUCH braver than I am!


Next up was a hike on a portion of the Art Loeb trail to Black Balsam Knob.  And just... WOW!


The hike wasn't too bad.  A few steep rocky areas, but nothing I couldn't pretty easily manage.  And once you get to Sam's Knob and you are out on the stretch of balds - one ridge top after another, it is just amazing!

Around here, you expect the mountains to be covered in forest, but these are more like rocky meadows.  And the views are just gorgeous!  Almost 360 degrees in some areas.


This is where we spread out our blanket and shared our mountain top picnic. It was much windier here, and we could hear rumbles of thunder somewhere off in the distance.  But even with the clouds and the occasional rain drop, it was just wonderful!



After snapping about a bagillion pictures, we hiked back down to the car and proceeded south on the Parkway.  Just stopping at any over look that captured our fancy.  We finally hopped off the parkway in Balsam Gap and drove back down I-40 to Asheville where we stopped for a Barnes & Noble fix and shared a pizza at Brixx's before heading home.

Another lovely, and successful date!  Next month - Shakespeare in the Park!

More "Date of the Month":
April:  Hometown Tourists


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Monday, May 26, 2014

Even In The Darkness

This morning was dark.  The sun was hiding behind dark clouds as storms rolled through.  At about 9am it was still gray and dusky outside.  It would have been easy to think the sun had forgotten to rise at all.  That it was hiding, refusing to shed it's light on my little corner of the world. That it had abandoned us to the darkness.

Haven't we all felt that way at sometime in life?

That the skies were dark.  The storms raged.  That the light would never shine on us.  That God had abandoned us to the darkness.

But just as the cloud was there the entire time, even in the darkest part of the morning  - God is always there also.

He promises never to abandon us.  Never to forsake us.  These are not empty promises.  Words spoken in vain.

Even in our darkest hours, when it feels as if He is no where close - He is right there.  Holding us.  Shining His love down on us.  Waiting to comfort us.






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Friday, May 23, 2014

Quenching My Thirst

I have been making an effort lately to drink plenty of water and much, much less of other beverages.  You know, that whole "don't drink your calories" thing.  Keep my body hydrated.  Etc, etc...

I have found the best way for me to do this and keep sipping throughout the day is to keep a straw cup filled with water and nearby at all times.  It also helps that there are so many cute ones available these days.

Like this little gem I picked up at World Market today!


Isn't it just so pretty? 

And the best part - it was on sale!  Normally $7.99 - but through this Memorial Day weekend they're only $5.99.  AND - I got another 10% off with a coupon through my World Market Explorer membership. (membership is free and comes with some very happy little benefits!)

I love a good deal on something pretty!

This was one of my little happys for the day.  What was yours?



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Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: May 22

This Week I Am Thankful For:

Bunny hopping beside the walking trail
Fluffy cotton ball clouds
Morning mist laying along the ground
The grand son dancing tirelessly
New hair color
Days that get off to a productive start
Being with the Man of the House - just driving around
The start of Male Offspring's Summer guitar lessons
Etsy orders!
New utensil holder
Sunshine after the rain
The grand son and the god laying together watching cartoons
The Man of the House and the male offspring having guys movie night
Sushi
Small investments to improve Queen B's Busy Work
 A new table (at a great price)
Pretty red bar stools
Bright green and yellow field of wildflowers
Dinner out with the Man of the House
Tiffany blue toenails
Family yard work hour
Stair railing is almost complete
Laughing together
Foggy morning
The sky just beginning to brighten at dawn
Texts from the Man of the House that make me laugh
Veggie quesadillas
Snuggles with the Man of the House
Allergy meds cocktail seems to be working (so far)
Doggie kisses for the grand son


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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Living With Those Three Little Letters

Oh man... Just... so. PMS-ish. today.

My emotions are all over the place.  What a mess I am. I think I should probably just avoid all other people for the next 48 hours or so.  At the very least.

Absolutely anything and everything is making me either irritated... or weepy.

photo: publicdomainpictures.net


I saw a Google commercial that made me tear up.  A GOOGLE commercial!!  That's bad.  Real bad.

It's also one of those days when I feel like I am doing a lot - but getting absolutely nothing done.  Which probably makes no sense to you whatsoever.  But it's a thing. And it's probably just another result of my hormonal overload.

Fun, fun, fun.  Not!

I also have a nagging headache.  Which I don't think is PMS related.  It feels more like sinuses.  Or may I just need more coffee.  Or some water.  Or a nap.  I hope it's sinus, coffee, or water.  Because the grandson is never gonna let that nap thing happen.  I am quite sure of that.



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Monday, May 19, 2014

A Date A Month: Hometown Tourists

You may remember my Valentine's Day gift for the Man of the House this year was a A Year of Date Nights.  One date a month for the next twelve months.  I thought I'd give you a little update on our most recent Date of the Month:

The Theme for April was: Hometown Tourists.  We were to pick something close by which we had never done before and make a day of it.

 It's funny... I know we use the phrase "I can't believe I've lived here this long and have never been there" - but when it came time to actually do one of those things, we had such trouble thinking of anything.

There was some discussion, and I spent what was probably too much time on Pinterest looking up ideas for our date. It even sparked an entirely new board for me!Finally, in one of my trips down the Pinterest rabbit hole I came across info about Pearson's Falls, just down the road in Saluda.  And since I had recently had a "you know, I've never been there" conversations with someone regarding Saluda - it seemed like a good choice.

Saturday morning; with picnic packed, we drove down the mountain one Saturday for our "Hometown Tourists" date adventure.

Pearson's Falls was lovely!  It's a privately owned preserve, and very well kept. I was impressed with how clean and beautiful everything was.  We strolled along the mountain river leading up to the falls.  And had our picnic lunch right there at the base.
Pearson's Falls
Sadly, I forgot my camera and had to snap pictures with my phone.  So they are few and fuzzy.








After viewing (and enjoying) Pearson's Falls, we drove back into the adorable small town of Saluda.  We had a drink at The Purple Onion, chatted with some locals, and enjoyed some ice cream.


Even after driving back to our own little town, we kept the "things we've never done before" theme going by visiting an antiques mall we have never stopped at before and trying a restaurant for dinner where we had never eaten before.

It was nice that after 22 years together we can still find new experiences to share.  Even right here in our area!
More "Date of the Month":
May: Take A Hike!
June: Shakespeare in the Park 




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Friday, May 16, 2014

Never Before

I love that at my age (which isn't that old, but old enough...) there are still new things to see and experience!

For example...

This week as the female offspring and I were going out to the store she spotted this sitting on the hanging basket on the front porch.





I have never seen anything like this before! 

This crazy little moth looked like a tiny little dragon!  Love it!





Have you seen or done anything new recently?




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Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Spirit of Gratitude: May 15

Since I skipped my Spirit of Gratitude post last week, I'm doubling up and sharing what I have been thankful for over the past two weeks...

This Week (and last week) I Am Thankful For:

Lunch at Moe's
Dinner with my Dad (he brought over pizzas)
Going to sleep early
Finished my first "Fun Run"
The Male Off Spring's guitar recital
Learning two doses of allergy meds does not equal an overdose
Dinosaur Train
Bright sunny crocheted washcloth/dishcloth
http://www.etsy.com/listing/188823091/
 An afternoon cup of coffee
Leftover cookies
Cute kitty noises
Warm showers
Cold gingerale
The last day of Driver's Ed class
The morning breeze
The Man of the House giving me a shoulder rub when I had a headache
NFL draft day
A good night's sleep
Feeling better
Pure laziness
Coffee and conversation
Pretty new pedicures
 An afternoon with mom and the female offspring
Pioneer Woman's "Croissant French Toast" - cooked by the Man of the House
Breakfast in bed
Beautiful Mother's Day roses
 Being pampered
Mocha Lattes
The Man of the House making dinner
Cheesecake
Family making me feel loved and appreciated
Loudly singing by myself in the car
Finishing a new baby sweater
The energy to get some things done that I let slide last week
New straw cup
 


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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fear and Insecurity

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9

 Is insecurity, fear, and self-doubt its own form of sin?

When we believe we aren't _____ enough for whatever is placed before us to do - we are doubting God's wisdom and His power.

We are essentially saying to Him:
"You are not enough."
"You have made a mistake"
"You are wrong"
"You might let me down"


It's time to let go of the fear.  Let go of the insecurities.  Let go of the self-doubt.

Turn to God's truth when thoughts full of fear and insecurity come creeping in.

He promises that His grace is enough.  (2 Corinthians 12:9)
He promises that He has plans to prosper us.  To give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)
He promises to complete a good work in us (Philippians 1:6)
He promises that He created each of us to do the work He prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10)
He promises that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Take your courage from the Lord.  Trust Him.






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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Post-Mother's Day

Happy belated Mother's Day to all the mothers, mothers to be, and mother-figures out there! I hope each and everyone of you felt as pampered and loved as I did on Sunday.

I spent Saturday afternoon with my mother and daughter.  We all went for coffee and then I took them for a little pedicure pampering.  We left the nail salon feeling relaxed and quite cute with our bright little toes. And of course, a little retail therapy!


Sunday morning, the Man of the House prepared me The Pioneer Woman's Croissant French Toast  (yeh - have I mentioned he can cook, too? I know... I am one super blessed gal!)  with strawberries, orange juice, and mocha lattes.  All with some lovely roses decorating my breakfast tray.



The family showered me with gifts - some items I have been longing over for a while now, but never bought for myself.  (Hint: over time create a Pinterest board of items you see and want, then share it with family once a gift giving holiday draws near. It works!)

While the males went to have lunch the the Man of the House's mother - the female offspring and I ran off to the beauty supply store (you know... for beauty supplies) and indulged in some LemonBerry slush and chili cheese tots from Sonic.  So good... and oh, so bad!

Then the day was topped off with the males fixing dinner.  Reuben sandwiches... yummy!


On Monday I had a few people ask me if I had a nice Mother's Day.  And what I wanted to say was:  "Of COURSE I had a nice day.  It's impossible not to when I have such a wonderful husband and a couple of pretty great offspring! Not to mention an adorable little grand son!"

And you know what... it's true!

First of all, I wouldn't even be on the receiving end of Mother's day celebrations if it weren't for them.  If that handsome loving man hadn't made me a mom to those two awesome young people, I wouldn't even be writing this sort of post today.  (I suddenly feel like an academy award winner... "I'd like to thank the people who made this all possible"...)  

And if they weren't the thoughtful, generous, loving people they are - it could have turned out to be a pretty miserable day.  But thankfully, I am hugely blessed to have these people in my life.  And I do want to thank them for a lovely weekend.

I can only hope all of you were treated to the same sort of pampering I received.  Shoot... I'll bet even half as much would leave a mom feeling loved and appreciated!


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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

By Doing Good

"For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people" 
~ 1 Peter 2:15

There is the saying "Be the change you want to see in the world".

credit: publicdomainpictures.net

Another way of thinking about it might be phrased as - "be the people you want to see in the world".

People may think that I am foolish for believing in Christ.  For following Him.

They may think I am ignorant, or naive. Or just plain crazy.

But if I truly follow Christ and live as He would have me live - if I am kind to others, peaceful in trials, joyful in all circumstances, and filled with trust and hope in Him - surely they can't help but to see the difference He has made in my life.

If I do good and follow His will it might make others pause and think.

And maybe... just maybe... make them take a second look at their own beliefs about God.  And in that reflection and exploration of their own hearts - maybe they will find Him there for themselves.

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